May 24, 1978. The biggest day in Memphis Rogues' history. This was the day the mighty New York Cosmos, the original "Galacticos," came to town to play the Rogues. Memphis was fresh off their first win and spirits were riding high. The general feeling of the Cosmos was that this would be little more than a practice game for them. Pele' was supposed to be the special guest but had to cancel due to his wife filing for divorce. Franz Beckenbauer had a slight thigh strain so the Cosmos rested him. Besides, they wouldn't need him against Memphis. This was also Tony Field's first chance to play against his former team. He was voted the Cosmos' MVP for the 1977 season. A season that saw them win Soccer Bowl. Field was then let go and signed by the Rogues. The lowly Memphis Rogues beat the Cosmos 1-0 on a goal by...Tony Field. David Stride picked up a ball at midfield, raced down the sideline, and sent a cross into a crowded goal mouth. Cosmos goalie Erol Yasin batted the ball straight down to a waiting Tony Field who hammered his shot into the top of the net. The place went crazy! On the night, Carlos Alberto was shown a straight red card for a foul on Phil Holder, John Houska played fantastic in goal to get his first shutout, and John Faulkner marked Giorgio Chinaglia out of the game. Things went so bad for Chinaglia that ,late on, Cosmos head coach Eddie Firmani substituted him. Chinaglia was livid! This directly led to Firmani being sacked. You did NOT cross Chinaglia. One of my favorite memories of the game was seeing Tony Field taunt the Cosmos bench by pointing to them and then pointing to the scoreboard. A great night!
Rogues line-up: J. Houska, B. Thomson, J. Faulkner, P. Beal, P. D'agostino, N. Smillie, T. Field, H. McCully, J. Husband, D. Stride, P. Holder.
Cosmos line-up: E. Yasin, B. Smith, C. Alberto, N. Morais, S. Formoso, V. Bogicevic, G. Chinaglia, S. Hunt, W. Roth, D. Tueart, V. Dimitrijevic. Subs used: G. Etherington, R. Davis, F. Grgurev.Attendance: 11,223